Southwestern Michigan College

Elisabeth Gokey

Elisabeth Gokey
Art 251: Advanced Studio Art 1
Digital Print
Print size 10×16

This is the first out of ten images in a show I have titled “Paradise Perceived.” I sent out surveys to a population of college students asking what their “paradise” would look like. They described in detail to me their perception, then I interpreted them into photos. I messed around with changing up the colors to give off a surreal vibe. I’m playing around with the idea of adding a some what ghost figure of the surveyed individual to give them a signature on the piece. That way they can “experience” their paradise.

30 thoughts on “Elisabeth Gokey”

  1. I think that your concept is brilliant. I love the idea of taking someones idea of paradise and manipulating it to the point where its not the ideal paradise anymore. Before I read the description I definitely gave this photo an outer space context which is also really interesting. the colors and contrast work great. I would definitely love to see more work from this series.

  2. I like the graphic design feel and look of this photograph; it has a very strong presence — good composition, bold colors. It catches the eye to say the very least. I particularly enjoy the shadows beneath the lifeguard tower.

    The concept behind these images is interesting… I like that this photograph would be much more generic had you not altered the color. Generic in the sense that humans have a very stereotypical mental image of everything. When someone says “picture a dog,” most everyone has a similar mental picture of a generic-type dog.

    I like that you are challenging these images of paradise. I’m very curious to see some more from this series!

  3. I think this is an interesting idea and would love to see the final put together show. I think the color here really adds a very interesting element and it alone makes me think about what the photo is telling me. The colors are just so vibrant and really add dimension. Would be interesting to see how the colors and setting of the other “paradises” work together as a whole.

  4. I really enjoy the concept behind this series, and I think it has a lot of potential. Turning the psychological into something tangible. I would have liked to see another one of these and maybe hear a little bit about what this person’s “paradise” is. As for the photo itself I definitely read the surreal, other-worldly vibe from your color choice and obscure subject matter.The colors seem to vibrate and transcend the photo itself.

  5. I really enjoy the concept behind your series, I think it is really strong and has a lot of potential. By interpreting other individuals ideas of paradise you are able to engage with a wider audience by not limiting yourself to your own perceived paradise. I like that you changed the colors of a otherwise standard beach photograph. The vibrancy really helps create that sense of surrealism you are trying to accomplish. The surrealist approach supports your idea of perceived paradise, not quite real but enough reference to be relatable. I look forward to seeing what your ghost images look like, it could add another layer to your concept. Great work and look forward to seeing more.

  6. I love the concept of this work. I would really love to see more. I also like your idea of putting a ghost figure of the person whose paradise it was in the image, I hope that you repost once you have some that look like that. This image in particular makes me ask the question “who’s paradise consists of a pink sanded beach?”, but it does, as you said, give it a surreal quality. I think in that respect I enjoy your concept more than this image, it seems more strange and desolate than a paradise. Like I said though, really would like to see more and see where you take it.

  7. This photograph reminds me of the very first project we worked on for Digital Photography II, Cross Processing. I love the use of colors and tonality, and it screams imagination and creativity, LOVE-IT!!!!! If you have not tried post-processing these in Photoshop under Cross-Process, you may wanna give it a whirl, if not on this piece of art, but on future pieces. It allows the mind to wander and venture on the grounds probably most have not yet wandered upon, and you have opened the door for this concept to run wild with your piece!!! Looking forward to future postings!!! Keep up the great work!!!

  8. concept is wonderful! i really enjoy when an artist is able to take an idea of another and transform it into a photograph of there own ideals. well done

  9. I really like the surreal colors of the image. But I don’t think it fits the concept of “paradise”. It looks a little too wired to me. But it’s still a good image with nice composition and colors. I wish to see more picture from this series and how other paradises look, so I can get a better understanding of your idea.

  10. Beautiful composition and colors, especially for what you’re trying to portray with “Paradise Perceived”. The gradient of the sky really does it for me I think. Good work and conceptual idea, hope to see more.

  11. This photograph looks almost fake. The colors you used make this photograph look unreal and something you created rather than something you photographed. Your use of color is good but I would of liked to see more realistic photos from you.

  12. I love the use of color in your photographs- it makes it very surreal. And your subject matter is very simple which compliments the use of color. I love the idea as well.

  13. obviously there is some good color exploration here that goes right along with your idea/intentions. the photo has good composition as well. i wish the green sky looked more natural, to me it just looks like a green gradient with an image over it. it could be much more effective, in my opinion, to have a gradient overlaid on the sky/background to keep it realistic but still have the surreal look to it.

  14. This looks like the surface of the planet Mars. I’m not exactly sure how you were able to get there but the point is you found a great angle on that white structure. About 70% of the photo is composed of the green atmospheric space, Is the structure supposed to be extraterrestrial? Or are you just using all that lime and dark green to balance with the Sharp sexy pink of the sand? Surrealism and paradises are overused in every art college program. To much emotion, and not enough emotionless robotic structure. Either way, I would pay thousands of money for this photograph.

  15. This image is very interesting. The colors allow me to look closer at the image and enjoy the concept, and composition. The colors you picked are also very interesting and i like how they play off each other. The one thing i would possibly change is the very top part of the sky that is really dark and my attention gets pulled in that direction and Im sure that was not the intention.

  16. Looks like the first industrialization of the moon! I like this image, not only for the color scheme, but for the surreal aspect captured. The small black and white structure in the background adds an even more surreal form of depth in the image. I also enjoy the black to green gradient shown in the sky. I don’t know if this would be my ideal image of paradise, but I am intrigued and wish to see more of the series.

    Stephen Kruse
    WMU
    10/8/12

  17. This piece immediately reminds me of pop-art, which isn’t a bad thing. I enjoy it. Your use of color is fantastically effective with this image, creating great depth and contrast. I think your subject matter certainly excels at raising questions for the viewer. I am curious as to what exactly the “paradise” was for this individual, given the different elements within the image. Good work.

  18. I agree with comments above that this looks like an escape to a new world! The colors are very surreal. It is a very interesting concept. It makes me wonder exactly what people said about their paradise.

  19. These are interesting photos because they not only take into account the subject but also flip the idea of a “paradise perceived” on it’s head. Unless someone’s idea of paradise is a green sky with purple sand, these images almost serve to warp our ideas of what it is we truly want. Very cool work.

  20. This is a fantastic series idea. I love how it involves the ideas of others, which you visually interpreted. I’m also a huge fan of taking realistic photos and slightly altering them for that semi-surreal feeling. This photo is well composed and a great use of contrasting colors.

  21. I enjoy the concept and like the choice of pink and green. It makes the scene look alien and like the structure is a space ship or something on another planet.

  22. I love this doutone type image. The colors are great contrast and the sharp lines make it really stick in your memory.

  23. The concept of this series is a great idea. Visually, the changing of the colors takes and ordinary photo and gives it depth and makes it stand out.

  24. There is a lot I like about this photo. One being the composition of your photo. It really does give a feeling where it seems as if you are int he photo experiencing what you are seeing in the scene. It may be from the angle looking upwards and just off to the side a little bit, but it really gives off that feeling. Another factor I like is the way you dealt with your shadows and colors. It is subtle, but the photo makes sense in the way that since the ground is purple, the shadows would be reflecting off of it creating a purple color. It’s also not a typical dark purple, it’s a light purple which also adds to the surreal vibe since that usually wouldn’t make sense in the real world. The green ombre in the back pulls everything together and really makes it seem as if you are on another planet. Since the ombre is so strong, it feels as if what you are seeing is not real. But then you have the aspect of shadows and something grounded that pulls you back into a paradise reality. Overall, great job! I wish I would have been able to see the rest of the photos in your series since it really intrigues me.

  25. Love the goofy color on this picture here! Definitely renders a sense of being in a outworld place to me. The color is just so vibrant and weird. Love your work here!

  26. This feels posterized without the color banding, rather its been straightened down into its most perfect forms. The photo has arrived at extreme crispness, the lifeguard stand sharp against the backdrop.

    This photo obviously is edited, but its done so in a way that makes me feel like I’m looking at an alien world instead of a representation of our own. The complimentary colors are nice contrast that add to the unreality.

  27. I love your use of these contrasty and complementary color. It really adds more dramatic visual effect and make your photos more futuristic.

  28. I love the graphic design in this photo. The colors are truly amazing – great use of complementary colors. Very surreal photo giving a futuristic appearance. Great work!!

  29. I definitely think you captured paradise! I’m from a coastal city and this reminds me of the sunsets that greet the people every night. I love how you manipulated the colors, because paradise is supposed to emulate this ethereal feeling.

  30. I really enjoy the graphic design element you incorporated into this project. The colors here do lend to a surreal vibe, and I like the description/idea for the project a lot.

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